In the home market of Switzerland, Swiss Life increased its segment result in 2018 by 4% to CHF 865 million (previous year: CHF 829 million). The growth was driven by the savings result and the fee result. Direct investment income was at the previous year’s level (CHF 3.0 billion).
In 2018 Swiss Life increased total premiums in Switzerland to CHF 9.5 billion (+3%), despite unchanged focus on new business profitability. Of the total premium volume, 85% came from group life business.
According to the Swiss Insurance Association (SIA), life insurance premiums in Switzerland increased to CHF 29.6 billion, up 0.7% on the previous year. In group life business, the market posted an overall premium increase of 0.7% and a 0.5% rise in premiums for individual life business compared to the previous year. Swiss Life›s market share of group life business increased to 34.5% (previous year: 34.0%). In individual life business, market share fell slightly to 19.6% (previous year: 20.2%). Swiss Life thus clearly remains the leader in its home market.
Insurance benefits, including changes in insurance reserves, rose by 6% to CHF 10.5 billion, due mainly to low interest rates and the concomitant greater reserving requirements. Operating expenses rose by 18% during the year under review to CHF 1.1 billion, due to higher acquisition costs from a lot of new business and higher writedowns on activated acquisition costs. Operational administrative costs in 2018 were once again slightly below the previous year.
In individual insurance the range of provisions products for private clients was further expanded, with an eye to their fundamental requirements: predictability and security. New products, such as the successfully launched Swiss Life Dynamic Elements new savings insurance, helped significantly increase the share of capital light solutions in new business in line with the Swiss Life offer strategy. The volume of new business with the new investment products for private investors launched in autumn 2016 with Swiss Life Asset Managers also increased markedly. Already, more than 10 000 private clients entrust over CHF 626 million in assets under management to the investment expertise of Swiss Life.
Growth in group life business during the year under review was shaped by significant market dynamics. Many customers reviewed their present occupational provisions solution in light of their current requirements, especially as regards risk capacity and appetite. In addition, the withdrawal of a competitor from the full insurance business led to increased activity on the market, and saw a marked rise in offer enquiries to Swiss Life. As a result, Swiss Life was able to write attractive new business, further strengthening the solidity of its portfolio.
Following the successful completion of the “Swiss Life 2018” strategy programme, Swiss Life launched its new programme, “Swiss Life 2021”, in November 2018. The strategic thrust of Swiss Life Switzerland in the new strategy programme is the digitally supported advisory process, which will improve the customer journey and the effectiveness of consulting as well as leading to more business with existing and new customers. Swiss Life aims to further increase its market share through its full-range provider offering while attending to margin management and capital efficiency.
Key figures for Switzerland
|Amounts in CHF million||2018||2017||+/-|
|GROSS WRITTEN PREMIUMS, POLICY FEES AND DEPOSITS RECEIVED||9 525||9 290||3%|
|Net earned premiums||9 254||8 997||3%|
|Fee and commission income||247||230||7%|
|Financial result||3 330||2 784||20%|
|TOTAL INCOME||12 989||11 913||9%|
|Net insurance benefits and claims||–10 531||–9 911||6%|
|Operating expense||–1 086||–919||18%|
|TOTAL EXPENSE||–12 124||–11 084||9%|
|Assets under control||119 624||118 633||1%|
|Insurance reserves||96 097||95 499||1%|
|Number of employees (full-time equivalents)||2 029||2 007||1%|